When I first starting using RSS feeds a couple of years ago, I used Google Reader and had a widget on my iGoogle page which I used to read my feeds. As my collection of feeds grew and I switched to Pageflakes as a homepage, I decided to move my feeds into Bloglines. I’d heard a lot of positive things about Bloglines and I certainly wasn’t disappointed – the interface worked well and I just found that I gelled with it. I even wrote a blog post about how great it was last year.
I have been using Bloglines Beta and particularly liked the 3 pane view. The interface was easy to follow and the customisation suited me well. I spread the word about how great Bloglines was and encouraged other people to give it a go. Typically, I then found that things started to go downhill. Items weren’t being updated properly, some items I couldn’t mark read, others were being marked read before I read them, and I couldn’t find some of my saved items. Then more recently Bloglines changed the colour scheme and it became difficult to tell whether or not there were new items, I like to be able to see at a glace whether or not there are any new items. The Bloglines iPhone interface also frustrated me – the feeds were there but it had very limited functionality such as being unable to save things to read later. It’s not just me that experienced problems with Bloglines, others have been complaining about it too on Twitter and their blogs.
Around this time, I also found out about Google Reader Trends which can help you see which feeds you read and which you don’t. I have reached a point where I have too many feeds to keep up with so this was the final push which led to me switching back to Google Reader.
OPML makes it so easy to change, it was just a simple case of exporting from Bloglines and importing into Google Reader. I am so far very happy with Google Reader, I love being able to easily star items or share them with others. The iPhone interface is also far more feature rich than the Bloglines version – I am able to have a quick glance, and star items of interest to read later:
I haven’t used Google Trends to its full potential yet but it is very interesting, a quick check now tells me that I do most of my reading late at night (this is usually on my iPod in bed when I can’t sleep!) and I read most posts on a Sunday. Below is a screenshot of the sort of information you get (as you can see from the top graph my reading habits have been sporadic for the last month and I haven’t read any for a few days, RSS reading has been pushed to the bottom of my list of priorities at the moment):
I’m certainly going to try to organise my RSS feeds again and see if I can cull a few of those I don’t read anymore or which have stopped posting.
So, at the moment I’m sticking with Google Reader, although I’m going to keep an eye on developments with Bloglines and may well switch back if things improve – that’s the beauty of RSS and OPML!
How about you? Which feed reader do you use and why? I’m always up for trying new readers, particularly web ones so that I can access them from work or home.